Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Virtualization update - virtualization classification

Yeah, I know that I get in trouble when I refer to the word "classification," but it's appropriate here.

True story - I worked at a small software company in the 1980s, and at some point I ran into a potential customer who, when talking about his software needs, insisted "I want it to be integrated." Never mind WHY it had to be integrated; it was just important that the particular buzzword in question be satisfied.

I think that each of you can think of some buzzwords that can make things attractive to different people - "open," "Web 2.0," "stimulus," what have you. In fact, I'd like the three readers of this blog (I'm counting my dog here) to subtly introduce a new buzzword into the online conversation, and insist that everyone needs to have it. The buzzword that I have chosen is


I've played these games before, but not in the business environment. (Search for the term "vonsinium" when you get a chance.)

Well, "virtualization" certainly can become one of those buzzwords devoid of meaning. Thankfully, TechRepublic's Debra Littlejohn Shinder defined the term a little bit better. As the first of her "10 things you should know about virtualization," she talked about different types of virtualization:

#1: Virtualization is a broad term with many meanings

Virtualization software can be used for a number of purposes. Server consolidation (running multiple logical servers on a single physical machine) is a popular way to save money on hardware costs and make backup and administration easier, and that’s what we’re primarily focused on in this article. However, other uses include:

* Desktop virtualization, for running client operating systems in a VM for training purposes or for support of legacy software or hardware.

* Virtual testing environments, which provide a cost-effective way to test new software, patches, etc., before rolling them out on your production network.

* Presentation virtualization, by which you can run an application in one location and control it from another, with processing being done on a server and only graphics and end-user I/O handled at the client end.

* Application virtualization, which separates the application configuration layer from the operating system so that applications can be run on client machines without being installed.

* Storage virtualization, whereby a SAN solution is used to provide storage for virtual servers, rather than depending on the hard disks in the physical server.

To see Debra Littlejohn Shinder's other 9 items, go here.
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